Archive for October, 2012

[BBC News] BMI Regional is launching as a fully independent airline, five months after being bought by a consortium.

The business was carved out of BMI in May, after the larger airline was taken over by British Airways’ owner, IAG. Photo: Wikipedia

BMI Regional, which operates 18 Embraer jets on scheduled services as well as leasing and charter contracts in the UK and Europe, was bought for £8m by Sector Aviation Holdings (SAH).

The airline is launching its own website and a new airline code – BM.

BMI Regional will run a total of four domestic and 11 European routes, having recently announced two new twice-daily services from Aberdeen to Bristol and Manchester to Antwerp in Belgium.

The airline’s head office is at East Midlands Airport but its operations base is in Aberdeen.

SAH chairman Ian Woodley told BBC Scotland that it had taken five months of hard work to reach this point.

“This marks another step forward for our business,” he said.

“It is the end of what has been roughly 20 weeks of intensive work, where we have been basically recreating the regional airline as a completely standalone operation from what was – if you like to call it – its original mothership, which was BMI.

“In some respects it would probably be easier to start an airline from scratch.

“You have this mothership with so many umbilical cords, all attached to a subsidiary.”

Mr Woodley, who founded BMI Regional’s predecessor Business Air in 1987 before selling it to BMI in 1996, said the process had involved severing all connections and then negotiating new contracts.

He added: “We have also had to introduce our own entire global distribution reservation system, which some people in the industry liken to open-heart surgery.

“But we’ve had to do all this at the same time as still flying our existing passengers and still maintaining our on-time departure performance.”

Mr Woodley said the company planned to keep the title BMI Regional – at least for the time being.

Under the terms of its agreement with IAG, SAH will have full rights to the BMI name from April next year.

He said: “At the moment we will continue with BMI Regional.

“There is a bit of a decision to take in-house, and we are also going to…….

Read the full story at BBC News…..

BBC News
28th Oct, 2012

[Airport Informer] For many in the Heathrow community and across the aviation business, today was a litle sad, but there was also a reason to mark it as something very special as well, for it was the day that the last Bmi flight landed at the airport.

Heathrow Fire Teams create a welcoming arch for the laast Bmi flight today.  Photo: John Jefferies

Heathrow Fire Teams create a welcoming water arch for the last ever Bmi flight today. Photo: John Jefferies

British Midland’s long and illustrious history came to an end today following the arrival of its last commercial journey. Flight number BD928 inbound from Baku, the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan landed in Heathrow to a warm commemorative welcome at 10:30 this morning. The flight came in to a sunny if a little chilly airport and landed on Heathrow’s northern runway.

Company History

With a history that spans over seven decades, British Midland can trace its roots back to 1938 when Captain Roy Harben established a school for training pilots of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve and called it Air Schools Limited in that year.

Roy Harben died in 1947 from a heart attack after forming a parent company called Derby Aviation Limited the previous year. His wife and a partner of her husband continued to run the business. For several years and incorporating the services of Wolverhampton Aviation, the company offered charter and freight services.

In 1953 the company ceased flying training after it received a licence in to operate scheduled flights from Burnaston and Wolverhampton to Jersey. The following year Wolverhampton Aviation was merged with Derby Aviation.

In 1956 the airline started international operations with a route to Ostend.

By 1959 Derby Aviation rebranded to become known as Derby Airways, changing its livery at the same time.

Finally the airline became known as British Midland Airways in 1964 after the purchase of a Manchester Airport based airline called Mercury Airlines.

The last Bmi flight - 27th October, 2012

Airport staff greet the last Bmi flight at Heathrow – 27th October, 2012

We would like to wish all those who worked for Bmi all the very best for the future. The airline may have ceased trading but it will not be forgotten.

The Airport Informer
27th Oct, 2012

[BBC News] At least four passengers have been injured in the emergency evacuation of an aircraft at Glasgow Airport.

Passengers and crew left the aircraft after the captain declared an emergency

Passengers and crew left the aircraft after the captain declared an emergency. Photo: Wikipedia

The captain of a Jet2 aircraft preparing to depart for Alicante declared an emergency at about 07:40. It is believed smoke had been detected in the cabin.

Passengers and crew left the aircraft using the emergency exits.

The runway has been closed and flights to and from Glasgow Airport are currently suspended.

Strathclyde Fire and Rescue have been called out to assist firefighters based at the airport.

A Strathclyde Police spokeswoman said: “We are currently dealing with an ongoing incident at Glasgow Airport involving a 737 aircraft following reports of smoke within the cabin.

“Emergency services are in attendance and the passengers have been evacuated as a precaution.”

A statement from Jet2 said: “This morning’s flight LS177 from Glasgow Airport to Alicante made an emergency stop on the runway just prior to take-off.

“The aircraft was forced to curtail take-off due to smoke in the cabin.

“All 189 passengers have disembarked the aircraft.”……

Read the original story at BBC News……

BBC News
19th Oct, 2012

[BBC News] Gatwick Airport bosses are to begin work on detailed plans for a second runway which would double annual capacity to 70 million passengers.

Gatwick Airport to submit runway options.

Gatwick Airport to submit runway options. Photo: Wikipedia

The West Sussex airport’s owners say they will scrutinise the options to develop the site up to 2020 and beyond.

The plans will now be put to an independent aviation commission led by former Financial Services Authority boss Sir Howard Davies.

Campaigners fear expansion will raise noise levels and harm the environment.

Gatwick said no runway would be built before 2019 under a legal agreement signed in 1979.

Its bosses believe additional “capacity and flexibility” would help ensure London’s airports provide south-east England with the connectivity needed.

Chief executive Stewart Wingate said it could be “affordable and practical” and a better option than new runways at Heathrow or Stansted airports.

“Over the last three years we have transformed the airport, invested around £650m and have a strong track record for delivering key routes to growth markets,” he said.

“However, we must now look to the future when Gatwick will become full and outline its long-term role in ensuring London has an efficient and resilient airport system that creates the crucial connectivity London and the UK needs.”

The plans sent to Sir Howard Davies’s commission, which will report back in 2015, include evaluations of environmental and economic impacts.

Gatwick said its “masterplan” for the airport contained a “scenario” for a new runway. The plans were put to public consultation for 18 weeks, which ended in January, it said.

Gatwick serves 197 destinations and currently handles about 34 million passengers a year……

Read the full story at BBC News….

BBC News
17th October, 2012

[This is MoneyBAA ditches name to be ‘Heathrow‘ after sell-off of stakes in Gatwick and  Edinburgh.

The company insisted there would be no changes to its management structure

The company insisted there would be no changes to its management structure. Photo: Wikipedia

BAA is changing its name to Heathrow. The  Spanish-owned company that runs some of the UK’s airports said it will be known  as after its largest airport because it no longer represents a large number of  UK terminals.

In 2009, competition authorities forced it to  sell its stakes in Gatwick and Edinburgh, and it has also agreed to offload the  London-serving airport Stansted.

After the rebranding, the group’s other  airports – Glasgow, Southampton and Aberdeen – will also become standalone  brands.

The company insisted there would be no  changes to its management structure, and no redundancies as part of the process.

But it warned there would be delays in  removing its BAA-emblazoned signs from terminals, as well as issuing staff with  uniforms free of its previous insignia.

BAA could not put a time frame on completing  re-branding. The company also said it does not have a figure for how much the  move will cost.

Chief executive Colin Matthews said: ‘The BAA  name no longer fits. We do not represent all British airports. We are not  a……

Read the full story at This is Money…..

This is Money
16th Oct, 2012

[BBC] An airline security worker has been suspended after failing to spot a fake bomb as it passed through the X ray machine.

The Department for Transport spokesman said. "The safety of the travelling public is paramount,"

The Department for Transport spokesman said. “The safety of the travelling public is paramount,” Photo: Wikipedia

Manchester Airport said it had launched an investigation into the incident.

The Department for Transport carries out regular dummy runs at UK airports to ensure security is up to scratch. A spokesman for the airport said: “We can confirm a security officer has been suspended but we cannot comment further as there is an ongoing investigation.”

The Department for Transport spokesman said it conducted regular airport tests but could not comment further.

The spokesman said: “The safety of the travelling public is paramount, which is why the UK combines intelligence, technology and other measures to provide one of the strictest regimes for aviation security in the world.

“We have a regular programme of inspections to ensure compliance with this regime, but do not comment on the specifics or outcomes for obvious reasons.”

In July, Manchester Airport suspended a number of airline staff after an 11-year-old boy boarded a plane from Manchester to Rome on his own without a passport, tickets or boarding pass.

The boy mingled with families to get through checks and was found mid-air on the Jet2 plane after passengers became suspicious.

Read the original story at the BBC…..

BBC News
6th Oct, 2012

[LBC] American Airlines (AA) has been forced to cancel dozens of flights so it can fix seats which could come loose on its fleet of Boeing 757 jets.

AA: Seat coming loose on its fleet of Boeing 757 jets.  Photo: Wikipedia

AA: Seat coming loose on its fleet of Boeing 757 jets. Photo: Wikipedia

The move is affecting thousands of passengers who were due to fly on almost 100 flights on Thursday and Friday. American says all the planes should be back in service by Saturday.

The decision to take 48 of its 757s out of service followed two separate incidents in which passenger seats came loose mid-flight.

An American Airlines flight from Boston to Miami was forced to make an emergency landing in New York on Saturday.

On Monday a second AA flight from New York to Miami returned to John F Kennedy International Airport after loose seats were discovered. No injuries were reported in either incident.

AA said both planes had recently undergone maintenance work that required seats to be removed and reinstalled.

“After further analysis by our engineering team, the company is taking additional preventative steps to enhance the locking mechanism features used to secure the seats to the aircraft floor,” AA said in a statement.

“American has instructed mechanics to pay particular attention to the seat lock plunger mechanism that secures the seat to the aircraft floor. Mechanics have begun taking steps necessary to ensure that no seat can become dislodged from its track.”

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is also looking into the incidents, which involved separate repair facilities.

The safety problems have added to a growing unease at the airline which has been hit by tensions with unions over cost-cutting and lay-offs since it filed for bankruptcy last November.

A recent spate of delays and cancellations have annoyed passengers, but aviation experts have warned just the hint of mechanical issues could frighten off customers and even threaten the airline’s existence…….

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